mono_cult 7th Birthday with Detroit Swindle and Marquis Hawkes
Saturday 1st February
Iron Mills, Leeds
From starting out hosting regular nights in their home town of Leeds, to being a part of Space in Ibiza, Hideout Festival Croatia, Sonar Festival and much more. Underground House outfit mono_cult have come a long way over the past seven years, and to celebrate their seventh birthday they put on yet another great show. Dutch duo, Detroit Swindle, headlined the night with support from Scotland’s unknown quantity, Marquis Hawkes and the mono_cult residents.
Detroit Swindle first burst onto the scene mid 2012 with their debut release The Wrap Around EP, released on Huxley’s imprint Saints and Sonnets, with releases since on various labels such as Tsuba, Dirtcrew, Murmur and many more including their own Heist Recordings. They’ve also gained support from esteemed names in the business such as Eats Everything, Deetron, DJ Sneak, Justin Martin and a host more.
Mono_cult’s long standing residents Matt Long and Brad Mercer warmed everyone up as they eased people into the night early on with a selection of house and disco tinged sounds. As people pondered around the edges of the dance floor and bar area, more and more started to make their way in and the room quickly started to fill out. Long and Mercer then slowly began to pick up the tempo, guiding the audiences tapping feet into the middle of the floor for a dance and a boogie before Marquis Hawkes took over at halve twelve.
The venue served mono_cult’s seventh birthday brilliantly as they went back to their roots by using a make shift venue for the night. An intimate, underused, raw industrial, brick work, open warehouse space set the scene for evening, with stunning floor to ceiling windows overlooking the canal. The warehouse space has only been used once before, when mono_cult booked Theo Parrish to play there around a similar time last year. Unfortunately this great space is soon to be converted into office blocks, so if you haven’t checked it out I’m afraid you’ve missed your chance to do so.
Hawkes began his set with similar vibes from where the residents finished, with steady up tempo Chicago house tracks, keeping the momentum in the room building with a funky remix of George Fitzgerald’s Child. As the evening wore on, a heavier bass line took over which kept the dance floor pumping with energy with tracks being dropped such as Leon Vynehall’s Brother. After what seemed like no time at all two hours had passed and it was time for headliners Detroit Swindle to step onto the decks. At the start of their set they slightly brought the tempo down, which helped to engage with the audience as they slowly built up tension with a string of house tracks which resembled that iconic Detroit Swindle sound, such as Motor City Drum Ensemble’s Send A Prayer Pt.2.
They’ve both developed from a background of a vibrant mix of soul, funk, hip hop and jazz – which was evident from their records, with well placed vocals, bumpy bass lines and swinging hi hats that make that crossing genre sound that’s been the building block of their huge success. They then opted to take a slightly darker turn towards the end of their set, with selections including Deetron - Count On Me, taking the crowd by surprise, before finishing with the momentous Trevino - Backtracking.
Another successful show for mono_cult, who’ve continuously set the standard for underground house events in Leeds and across the country. We hope to see them doing just as well for the next seven years.
Review by Chris Simpson
Images courtesy of Daniel Watson